The Land – Finding the G Spot – Pt.2
If a picture’s worth a thousand words… it better be a good one.
When I awoke this morning it took a while to accept my reality. It’s not everyday you wake up in Wonderland – particularly this version. As the sun formed a golden gradient upon the jungle… steam rose into the atmosphere. A small jugung putted past… a lone silhouette in a bamboo hat. The ocean a blend of emeralds and cobalt blues… a velvety blanket of calm. Up the reef… it’s head high sets at Money trees… just a handful out. The deep players ambitious – unable to make the section… the punters wide – doing better. Closer to home it’s a bird’s-eye of baby Speedies – it looks fun… just a mere hundred meter paddle… this might be me this morning.
Looking back to the beach… the camp was fairly invisible. No real giveaways except for that proud wooden tower. The tsunami of the 90’s set renovations back into jungle. This camouflaged view was a welcome surprise… a stark contrast to the concrete misery that endlessly dogs the shores of Baliwood. Without setting foot on sand… very little had changed.
9:53am – An outboard shuttles yet another posse up the reef… conditions are more polished. Out past Kong’s… a boat approaches fast. Eyes focus… it’s the ‘Gland Express’. Into the bay… a regal entrance… square-jawed… powerful. Passing the Con… they come in real hot… too hot for the crew to snag the mooring – Iron is amused. After ‘the lap of shame’ they finally dock and begin delivering human cargo to beach. I watch while listening to Skip James cut through beaten speakers. It’s porridge for breakfast with ripe banana… raisins and long-life milk. Iron’s technique is well rehearsed… it’s all about order of operation. Haven’t eaten porridge in a while… good with fruit… especially banana.
Today is a slow start… no plans… no schedule. We’re here for a week… maybe longer. There’s a nagging compulsion to get on it… but I reckon I blew my shot at Speedies… tides getting too low now. But ‘Money Trees’ is still delivering – that can go all day – no rush here in Indo – not on these decks.
In my humblest opinion… Gland is preferable on a real high tide… coming in around midday. When the seasonal trades blow… the sea breeze & jungle air don’t seem to get along until noon. The offshore matters out here – it’s a fast wave. If you put on the brakes… raise the tide… and throw in a solid south swell – the Land can really shine. But we don’t have that right now – everything’s back to front. It’s more about the ‘Money’… and less about the ‘Speed’… and there’s no complaints from me about that.
Drinking my second instant coffee… conversation begins slipping into the past. Iron reminisces about a place back east we know as “The Horseshoe':
“…swells don’t last there as long as Vegas… but it does get pretty big. Yeah… the waves get pretty hairy. No peeling point breaks mate… more shallow… shelfy – abrupt kind of waves. Under 6 ft its pretty mellow. Super similar to Nias… almost a f%#king copy of Nias – the wave I mean. The old Nias… the one before the tsunami… you know… under 6 ft… its mellow… fun… thin-lipped – high tight little barrel. But once the ‘Shoe’ gets over 6ft… there’s a big shelf out the back… and then… it’s just like – wooom!! It’s a big drop… and real thick necked barrel. You gotta back door this huge section right on the slab… and when you come out… it’s the full ‘Thornton Fallander’ memorial cut back section… straight out of ‘Storm Riders’ mate…”
The Horseshoe was discovered way back in time by an enterprising bloke who’d mapped out a very lucrative existence onboard his multi hulled craft. He sailed about the islands shrouded in smoke & mirrors… until luck forced him to surrender to an armed guard upon some muddy docklands. He managed to manipulate a soft exit… with 2 years confined to a world-class reef and an ankle bracelet. Life was an oyster back then.
12:07am – The Con’s busy with preparations… as we get ready for an appearance upon the line up. I proudly unveil the new Mitchell creation… a beautiful… shiny weapon – made even more artful by Nyoman’s mythological Barong detail. As more wax is applied… Iron examines his equipment… his leash looks miserable… I throw him a fresh one. Everyone’s has their style… some until the wheels fall off… others more pre-emptive.
As I follow Iron into the water…it’s a solid paddle up to Money Trees. The ocean’s brisk… colder than I figured… but still plenty warmer than home. There’s generous overhead sets coming through… they look attractive. Passing Speedies… it’s getting shallow… a rock comes up to say hello. The offshore’s strong and from a good direction.
Once closer… I count 20 heads… pretty mellow for key season. These days the internet offers precise forecasting – no more magical mystery tour. Rock stars wont apply themselves beyond that golden 48hr window. I guess if you’re choppered in on the company’s coin… you must get that all important money shot – can’t sell them accessories without it bra. But as for punter Joe… the ‘B-list’ is the ‘A-list’… a fertile playpen. Home to realists and old c%#ts like your scribe.
Admittedly… I never really surfed the Land at lower tides before. I always paddled out with plenty of water on the reef. But we didn’t have a choice this visit… and I didn’t care. At this scale… it was nothing you couldn’t handle. Up at the Tree… Iron burgled the first set… a nice drop… straight into the pocket. He made plenty of ground fast on that 6’10 Hansell repro of a ‘Hackman’ special. Iron only rode single fins and understood their temperament. Rather than carving hard into the slot… it was a composed gentlemanly glide. I finally got my shot on a set… the ‘Outer Island’s’ generous rocker and forgiving rails let me to race hard down the line. That bloke from Banana Land sure can craft a handsome ride. I remained high on most efforts – focusing on speed. It was redline stokage to put this board through its paces.
After our fair share of waves… Iron and myself skulked back toward the Con. You always need to keep a vigilant eye on your anchorage… anything can happen. Iron had a yarn about surfing a desolate outer reef… when his vessel’s suddenly broke free and drifted towards the horizon. Paddling hard for his livelihood… it was a solid mile before he caught it. Any further… the boat (and himself) would’ve probably been lost forever.
8:19pm – The offshore winds blow as the anchor grunts & grinds. The stars are out tonight… phosphorescent creatures sparkle like diamonds below the water’s surface. Tonight’s dinner was another instant noodle special… amped up by cabbage… garlic and our canned tuna in a blood-red sauce. We’re now down to just one 1 table-spoon.. 1 tea-spoon… and a fork. There’s still plenty of blunt corroded knifes on offer – but eating utensils are limited due to the Bear leaving a cup of cutlery too close to the stern. Artifacts overboard is common (I’ve been told) and in 200 yrs it’ll be classed as a valued archeological find.
After dinner there was more nostalgic talk about feral adventures and eccentric characters. Visionaries who lost their way in paradise – surrendering to a darkened heart…. without warning… a most promising soul… overwhelmed by that messianic state of consciousness. It’s what happens when the canvas loses it’s edge. It’s lonely at the top of the bamboo tower of babble… no one can possibly understand… nobody’s qualified to breathe the rarefied air in the sanctuary of the Gods. If there’s some powerful art from all the brutal insanity – the legend can live. But for most descendents of the Conrad flock… it’s just a ghost trail of chinese whispers… mythology lost to shallow graves.
My eyes begin to fold… the mind is weary… the sun really took it out of me. Crawling into my bunk… I lose consciousness… no mind beyond this bay… everything faraway… beyond my control.
This is the dream…
To be continued…